Watch Out, Thor: Scientists Invent Device to Control Lightning

Although he’s technically the god of thunder, the Germanic legend Thor has long been saddled with the responsibility of controlling lightning, too. But that could soon be changing if scientists get their way.

A team of University of Geneva researchers has put together a huge laser that they say will help them control lightning. The device, which is located on top of a mountain in the Swiss Alps, is expected to shoot a “laser lightning rod” into the sky, attracting big bolts of lightning that would otherwise strike the ground, says Swiss physicist Jean-Pierre Wolf.

“This is one of the places in Europe that’s struck by lightning the most,” Wolf says. “There is a radio transmission tower there which gets struck 100 to 400 times a year. So it’s an ideal place to make our proof-of-concept experiments.”

When mankind messes with nature, does it lead to trouble?

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